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Dateline: Week Of February 22, 2010 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts

In The News -

A sweeping credit card law that takes effect this week. The law that President Barack Obama signed last May was supposed to prevent banks from using tactics that put borrowers deeper into debt. Yet, it still allows loans and cards with crushing terms. The new law now lets you know how much that card really costs to use. The consumer will now know how long it will take to pay off the balance. The law does allow banks to create new fees and raise old ones. It also permits some interest rate hikes with ample notification. But it shields card users from sudden hikes, excessive fees and other gimmicks that companies have used to drive up profits.

A woman died after being hit by a tire from a crashing dragster at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. The woman was watching a first-round Top Fuel run at Firebird International Raceway when Antron Brown’s Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster went out of control on the strip and its left rear wheel came off.

President Obama proposes giving the federal government new power to block excessive rate increases by health insurance companies, as he rolls out comprehensive legislation to revamp the nation’s health care system, White House officials said. The president’s legislation aims to bridge differences between the bills adopted by the House and Senate late last year, and to frame his debate with Republicans over health policy at a televised “summit” meeting on Thursday.

Americans' outlook on the economy went into relapse in February. Rising job worries sent a key barometer of confidence to its lowest point in 10 months, raising concerns about the economic recovery. The Conference Board said Tuesday its Consumer Confidence Index fell almost 11 points to 46 in February, down from a revised 56.5 in January. Analysts were expecting only a slight decrease to 55. It was the lowest level since the index recorded a 40.8 reading in April 2009.

About 350 people were responding well to medicine after getting sick on a cruise to the Caribbean that departed from South Carolina. Celebrity Cruise spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said 326 of the more than 1,800 passengers on the Celebrity Mercury began complaining Sunday of upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhea. Martinez says 27 of the nearly 850 crew members also reported symptoms. The ship left Charleston on Feb. 15, the first departure in a newly-expanded year-round schedule of cruises from South Carolina as the industry expands in the state.

The president of Toyota's U.S. operations is apologizing for the company's slow handling of sudden acceleration problems in its vehicles, as the automaker tries to persuade skeptical lawmakers it cares about safety. Toyota's James Lentz, certain to face hostile questioning Tuesday at a high-profile congressional hearing, says in prepared testimony that Toyota had poor communications within the company, with government regulators and with its customers.

But Lentz also said that Toyota has no problems with its electronic throttle controls, which have been blamed as a possible cause of unintended acceleration in some Toyota.

dick cheney chest pains   feb 2010Former Vice President Dick Cheney was hospitalized on Monday after experiencing chest pains, and his office said he was resting comfortably while doctors evaluated the situation. Cheney, 69, who served as vice president from 2001 to 2009 under President George W. Bush, has had a long history of heart ailments and has had an implanted heart defibrillator since 2001.

A teacher tackled a man armed with a high-powered rifle just after two teenage students were shot at a suburban Denver middle school that's just miles from Columbine High School, the site of one of the nation's deadliest school shootings, authorities said. The teacher was David Benke, who is considered a hero. The two students will survive.

A SeaWorld killer whale seized a trainer in its jaws Wednesday and thrashed the woman around underwater, killing her in front of a horrified audience. It marked the third time the animal had been involved in a human death. Distraught audience members were hustled out of the stadium immediately, and the park was closed. Trainer Dawn Brancheau, 40, was one of the park's most experienced. It was not clear if she drowned or died from the thrashing.

With tempers flaring, President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans clashed in an extraordinary live-on-TV summit Thursday over the right prescription for the nation's broken health care system, talking of agreement but holding to long-entrenched positions that leave them far apart." We have a very difficult gap to bridge here," said Rep. Eric Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican. "We just can't afford this. That's the ultimate problem."

An unceasing winter storm unleashed multiple dangers across the Northeast on Friday, blasting the coast with hurricane-force winds that fanned a New Hampshire hotel fire, flooding parts of Maine, dropping 2 feet of snow on parts of New York, and cutting power to at least 700,000 homes and businesses. Power failures were so bad in New Hampshire that even the state Emergency Operations Center was operating on a enerator. In the coastal town of Hampton, the unoccupied Surf Hotel caught fire, and the howling winds quickly spread the blaze to the rest of the block. Five wood-frame buildings, including an arcade and a restaurant, burned. The cause was unknown.

A devastating earthquake struck Chile early Saturday, toppling homes, collapsing bridges and plunging trucks into the fractured earth. A tsunami set off by the magnitude-8.8 quake threatened every nation around the Pacific Ocean — roughly a quarter of the globe. Interior Minister Edmundo Perez Yoma said the most powerful quake to hit the country in a half-century killed at least 300 people. President Michelle Bachelet declared a "state of catastrophe". Buildings were damaged in the capital Santiago, more than 200 miles away from its epicenter.

Hawaii braced Saturday for a potentially damaging tsunami, after a massive earthquake off Chile sent waves across the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning — its highest alert — for Hawaii, where incoming waves could cause damage along the coastlines across the island chain. A warning was also in effect for Guam, American Samoa and dozens of other Pacific islands. Later - the warnings were all pulled back – no tsunami damage.

President Barack Obama said Saturday he is ready to compromise with Republicans on health care if they are serious about it, but that an overhaul must go forward. "Let's get this done," he said. Obama's comments in his weekly Internet and radio address, two days after an all-day bipartisan summit across from the White House, were the latest sign that Democrats are getting set to try to pass health care legislation without any Republicans on board.

Sports News February 22, 2010 -

ESPN has suspended TV commentator Tony Kornheiser for remarks about fellow ESPN personality Hannah Storm, according to multiple reports Tuesday. Kornheiser, the popular host of the show "Pardon the Interruption," is known for making sports figures the subject of his humorous criticism, but in a recent show he aimed his commentary at Storm's wardrobe."Hannah Storm in a horrifying, horrifying outfit today," Kornheiser said. "She’s got on red go-go boots and a catholic school plaid skirt … way too short for somebody in her 40s or maybe early 50s by now. She’s got on her typically very, very tight shirt. She looks like she has sausage casing wrapping around her upper body … I know she’s very good, and I’m not supposed to be critical of ESPN people, so I won’t … but Hannah Storm … come on now! Stop! What are you doing?"

kobe bryant news   feb 2010Kobe Bryant returned to lineup after missing five games with an ankle injury and made a 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left to lift the LA Lakers to 99-98 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Bryant led the Lakers with 32 points, including his team's final nine points. His 3-pointer with 54 seconds left tied the game at 96-all. His game-winner came off an inbounds play 4 seconds after his layup attempt was blocked by Rudy Gay.

X-treme Skier dead - C.R. Johnson, 26, was skiing with a group of friends when he fell while trying to negotiate a "very, very tight, rocky area," said Jim Rogers, a member of the Lake Tahoe-area resort's ski patrol. He fell face-first, then spun around and struck the back of his head on rocks. Johnson was wearing a helmet, but Rogers said the helmet took a serious blow.

michael jordan buys team     february 2010Michael Jordan buys the Bobcats - With minutes to go until his exclusive negotiating window was to expire, Jordan struck a deal late Friday night to buy controlling interest of the Charlotte Bobcats, putting the six-time NBA champion in charge of the money-losing team in his home state.

NASCAR - Kevin Harvick overcame a pair of horrendous pit stops to win the Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Harvick led 83 of the 200 laps Saturday, but had to rally after his crew cost him several spots on pit road. Patrick finished 36th in her third and final NASCAR race before she takes a four-month hiatus to return to IndyCar racing.

Vancouver Winter Olympic Games –

Heavy Medal - Apolo Anton Ohno becomes the most decorated US Winter Olympian ever after earning his seventh career medal. The 27-year-old skater from Seattle took the bronze in the men's short track 1,000 meters on the ninth day of the Winter Olympics. The medalist broke a tie with Bonnie Blair, who accumulated six medals (five gold, one bronze) in speed skating in the 1980s-90s. "I really had to fight," he said following his victory. "I can't wait to watch the tape and see how I came back from last place to win bronze."

More Vancouver – Shani Davis stuck his skate across the line and won his second straight gold medal in 1,000-meter Olympic speedskating. Four years ago at Turin, he became the first African-American athlete to win an individual gold at the Winter Games. This time, he simply wanted to be known for his skating. Period.

Fool’s Gold - A bad call by his coach costs (Dutch Sven) Kramer a gold medal in speed skating. Far ahead of the crowd, he stopped to talk to his coach, but was sent back – in the wrong position – to the inner instead of the outer track – and was disqualified!! OOOCH!!

Performing a flawless free skate, South Korea's Kim Yu-Na easily won the ladies' figure skating gold Thursday with a world record total of 228.56 points, shattering her previous global standard by 18 points. The win gave South Korea its first Olympic figure skating medal ever.

Technology News - February 22, 2010 -

apple itunes tops 1 billion song    feb 2010Apple Inc. said that it has sold 10 billion songs from the iTunes Store since it opened in 2003, cementing its position as the world's largest music retailer. The 10 billionth song was "Guess Things Happen That Way" by Johnny Cash, bought by Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Ga. He will receive a $10,000 gift card. The music store sold around 25 million tracks in 2003. Three years later, it surpassed the 1 billion mark.

Google has developed a prototype for a new mirror technology that could cut by half the cost of building a solar thermal plant, the company's green energy czar said. Bill Weihl said that if development and testing go well, he could see the product being ready in one to three years. “Things have progressed," Weihl said in an interview. "We have an internal prototype."

Get Ready - Intel plans to release a faster version of its "Pine Trail" Atom processor for Netbooks on Monday, bringing a little extra performance to this popular segment of the laptop marketMajor. PC makers are expected to announce--over the coming weeks and months--new products or product refreshes with the new processor, the N470, which will be identical to the current 1.66GHz N450 but get bumped to a speed of 1.83GHz, according to a source familiar with the announcement.

Entertainment News - February 22, 2010

Long And Winding Abbey Road - Music company EMI wants to retain ownership of the Abbey Road recording studios, immortalized by the Beatles album of the same name, though it is talking to other parties about revitalizing the site, EMI said on Sunday. A source familiar with the situation told Reuters last week that loss-making EMI had put the studios up for sale and was talking to a few interested firms, although no deal was imminent.

simon cowell news   february 2010Missing Paula – Simon Cowell says his relationship with new judge DeGeneres isn’t the best, when asked about Paula Abdoul: “Amazingly, even though we used to argue a lot, she was somebody I got close to," he says. "We would hang out together after the show. She always made me laugh. She was funny. It is not having your friend on the show any more, so I do miss her."

Sarah’s Smiling – As daughter Bristol Palin, will make her acting debut on The Secret Life f the American Teenager. The 19-year-old Palin has a 1-year-old son, Tripp, with ex-fiance Levi Johnston. She will play herself as one of Amy's friends at a music program for teen moms. Palin said in a statement that she is "thrilled" to appear on the hit series.

michael jackson disneyland   february 2010The King Is Back – Michael Jackson is returning to Disneyland for the first time in over ten years! “Captain EO” and late pop king Michael Jackson are returning to Disneyland and the Disney Park will be playing the musical indefinitely. Jackson’s musical flick, which ran from 1986 to 1997, will now be shown indefinitely at the Disney parks.

Out Of The Zone – TMZ is being sued for broadcasting allegedly stolen and confidential footage of an interview with Debbie Rowe soon after her ex-husband, Michael Jackson, died last June. The details of the lawsuit raise interesting questions about the gossip Web site’s news operation, copyright issues, and the boundaries between an entertainment clip and a fair-use news product. Suit was filed by Marc Schaffel Productions.

In the first stop of her post-Olympic tour, Lindsey Vonn will guest on Jay Leno’s first return “Tonight” show. The skier, who has won two medals already in Vancouver, will join actor Jamie Foxx and country singer Brad Paisley in returning the embattled Leno back to his old time slot on March 1, the first Monday after the Olympics.

Sex and the New Scent – “Sex and The City" fans can finally smell like Carrie Bradshaw! Sarah Jessica Parker debuts a new scent, SJP NYC, based on her beloved character. "I like the idea of creating a fragrance of everyone. I thought a lot about the idea of like when Carrie Bradshaw walks down a street," said Ms. Parker.

He’s So Vain - Carly Simon’s “Your So Vain” is really about David Geffen. The song, which catapulted the singer to fame in 1972, was rumored to be about one of her ex-boyfriends, who include Warren Beatty Mick Jagger, but she had persistently refused to name the man behind the track. But Simon has now revealed who was so vain by giving fans a cryptic clue in an acoustic version of the song, which features on her upcoming album "Never Been Gone." The singer whispers Geffen's name backwards in the track, according to Britain's The Sun newspaper.

ellen degeneres idol news    feb 2010De-Ready DeGeneres - Ellen DeGeneres gets a first taste of judging on a live "American Idol" Tuesday night as the Top 12 girls got their first chance to compete for the public vote. Ellen and Simon served as bookends on the judges' table, with Randy and Kara at center. Making a play on Cowell’s remarks about them not getting along – Ms. Degeneres remarked that “We had a little problem and I felt like it's safer over here," of her seat next to Randy. "The problem is, Simon wants me and he's got a thing for me and I get it Simon. I get it, and it's not going to happen."

Tyler Puts The Aero Back In Smith - After turmoil that included public squabbling, threats of a lineup change and a rehab stint, Aerosmith is back and ready to rock. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have announced a European summer tour — with Steven Tyler. The announcement was made via a video post on the band's Web site Wednesday. Tyler was sitting with the rest of the band and joked: "I just auditioned and I got the gig."

Mr Chekov Checks-Out - Andrew Koenig's parents mysteriously walked out of an interview with talk show host "Larry King" just minutes before they were due to go on the air.The former "Growing Pains" star hasn't been seen since Feb. 14. He disappeared during a trip to Vancouver, Canada and was reported missing by a friend after failing to show up for his flight home to Los Angeles on Feb. 16. Said Larry King, “For some reason unbeknownst to anyone, Walter Koenig, the father of the missing Andrew Koenig, and Judy Levin-Koenig left the studio in Vancouver. We checked them out, they were prepared to go on, I said 'Hello,' they said 'Hello.' We said we'd be on in two minutes, they said 'Fine.' And they got up and left, for reasons unknown."

Sadly - Former “Growing Pains" actor Andrew Koenig was found dead Thursday in a wooded area of a sprawling downtown park where he enjoyed spending time, apparently after committing suicide (hanging). The actor's father, Walter Koenig, said "my son took his own life," and police spokeswoman Jana McGuinness said, "I'll let Mr. Koenig's words speak for themselves." "He was obviously in a lot of pain," Walter Koenig said, referring his son's lifelong depression.

gary coleman seizureGary Coleman suffered a seizure on the set of "The Insider" Friday and received immediate treatment from Dr. Drew Pinsky, who happened to be on set as well. "The Insider" says on its Web site that Coleman was transported to a local hospital in stable condition. Coleman walked off "The Insider" during a visit to the show earlier this month. He was being interviewed about his arrest in Utah last year on domestic violence charges when he blew up, telling the attorney questioning him to "drown herself in the ocean" before he stormed off the set.

Top Music Money Makers – U2 leads Billboard's 2010 Money Makers list, earning more than $108 million in 2009. Bruce Springsteen is second with $57 million and Madonna follows with $47 million. AC/DC and Britney Spears round out the top 5 with $43 and $38 million, respectively. Billboard compiles the list from monies earned through tours, CD and digital sales, publishing royalties and more. Madonna topped the list last year; Springsteen came in third. Both U2 and Madonna have touring deals with Live Nation.

Little Brownie Bakers, the maker of Girl Scout Cookies, announced a recall of some of its cookies Thursday. The company, located in Louisville, Ky., said Lemon Chalet Crème cookies, while still safe for consumption, are not up to its quality standards. Approximately 10 consumers have informed the cookie maker of an off taste and smell in certain packages of Lemon Chalet Crème cookies, which it said is a result of oils that may be breaking down.

Tragedy For Marie Osmond - Her 18-year-old son Michael Blosil has passed away. Osmond said in a statement through her publicist that her family is devastated by the "tragic loss." She did not provide details on the death. Entertainment Tonight reported on its Web site that Blosil jumped to his death Friday night from a downtown Los Angeles apartment building.

TV Ratings - February 22, 2010 -

1.

Winter Olympics (Wednesday)

NBC

2.

Winter Olympics (Saturday)

NBC

3.

Winter Olympics (Monday)

NBC

4.

Winter Olympics (Thursday)

NBC

5.

American Idol" (Tuesday)

FOX

6.

Winter Olympics (Friday)

NBC

7.

Winter Olympics (Sunday)

NBC

8.

Winter Olympics (Tuesday)

NBC

9.

American Idol" (Wednesday)

FOX

10.

Undercover Boss

CBS

11.

Survivor: Heroes-Villains

CBS

12.

NCIS

CBS

13.

The Bachelor

ABC

14.

60 Minutes

CBS

15.

Desperate Housewives

ABC

16.

Two and a Half Men

CBS

17.

Grey's Anatomy

ABC

18.

The Big Bang Theory

CBS

19.

Lost

ABC

20.

NCIS: Los Angeles

CBS

TV listings/TV Guide - February 22, 2010 -

Thursday night

At 8, ABC has a new episode of 'The Deep End' at 8.

CBS has a new 'Survivor' at 8.

NBC has The Olympics at 8.

FOX has a new 'American Idol' at 8, then a new 'Kitchen Nightmares.'

TCM has 'The Killers' at 8.

At 9, Spike has a new 'TNA Wrestling.'

TLC has the season premiere of 'Police Women of Maricopa County' at 9.

At 10, USA has a new 'Burn Notice.'

Food Network has a new 'Ace of Cakes' at 10.

FX has a new 'Archer' at 10.

Comedy Central has a new 'Important Things with Demetri Martin' at 10, then a new 'Sarah Silverman Program.'

There's a new 'Real Housewives of Orange County' on Bravo at 10.

Also at 10: Current has a new 'InfoMania,' followed by a new 'Rotten Tomatoes Show.'

Top Pop Hits - February 22, 2010 -

Tik Tok – Ke$ha

Imma Be – Black Eyed Peas

We Are The World For Haiti

Bad Romance – Lady Gaga

Bedrock – Young Money Fea. Lloyd

Hey, Sister Soul – Train

In My Head – Jason DeRulo

Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

Say Aah – Trey Songz fea. Fabolous

Sexy Chick – Dave Guetta fea. Akon

How Low – Ludacris

Blah Blah Blah – Ke$ha fea. 3Oh!3

Baby – Justin Beiber fea. Ludacris

Carry Out – Timbaland fea. Justin Timberlake

Telephone – Lady Gaga fea. Beyonce

According to You – Orianthi

Replay – Iyaz

alicia keys music    february 2010Empire of the State – Jay-Z & Alicia Keys

Live Like We’re Dyin’ – Kris Allen

I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas

Breakeven – The Script

Rude Boy – Rihanna

Nothin’ On You – B.o.B. fea. Bruno Mars

Today Was A Fairytale – Taylor Swift


Top Movies - February 22, 2010 -

Shutter Island – (first week debut – does $40,200,00 in business)


Valentine’s Day

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

The Wolfman

Dear John

Tooth Fairy

Crazy Heart

From Paris with Love

Edge of Darkness

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